I tried doing daily ice-water facials for a week, and I think I'll save it for special occasions
- After speaking with a cosmetic dermatologist,
I trieddoing ice-water facials every day for a week.
- The easy and affordable practice consists of plunging your face into
icewater to reduce puffiness and minimize imperfections.
- I noticed my
skinwas a little irritated right away, but after a few days, I saw some improvement.
- This isn't something I'm likely to keep in my daily routine, but I might do it again for special occasions.
Ever since I was a teenager — and acne became the clingy best friend I never asked for — I've found myself super self-conscious about my skin.I've spent hours trying to concoct the perfect daytime and nighttime rituals and have tried almost every treatment marketed to me by dermatologists and cosmetologists.
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It's exactly as cringeworthy as it sounds. You fill a big bowl up with cold water and ice cubes — some people will infuse the water with cucumbers or other ingredients — and spend time dunking your face in as many times as you can.Despite my trepidation, I decided to give this a try every single day for a week. Read on to see how it went.
Before starting, I spoke to a cosmetic dermatologist about the potential risks and benefits of ice-water facials
Before kicking off my experiment, I spoke to cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green, who said the concept of an ice-water facial isn't new."The concept of cold therapy or applying ice to the skin is not a new one, in fact, ice therapy has been around for centuries," Green told Insider. "There are many benefits to applying ice water to the skin such as decreasing inflammation and reducing puffiness, also improving the appearance of the skin tone, minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores and improving superficial wrinkles." Green also shared that ice-water facials can remove toxins and reduce inflammation through constriction, which can boost circulation and bring forth a radiant complexion.
But she warned that overdoing it with ice-water facials can lead to irritation.
"You should avoid submerging your face for too long in the ice-cold water. If the water is too cold it can also cause skin irritation," she told Insider.She also said that if you have rosacea you should skip this
I don't have rosacea, but I went into the week prepared to potentially see some slight irritation on my skin.
I made the facials part of my nightly routine
Before I go to bed, I spend around 20 minutes on my skin. Generally, I take my makeup off, wash my face, and use a few different creams and serums.
I filled the bowl with ice-cold water and all of the ice cubes from my tray. Then, I put a timer on my phone for 15 minutes and dunked my face in the water for about 10 to 15 seconds per minute.The first day was tough. I wanted to quit after five minutes but I kept pushing on.
To make sure I was really doing a proper ice-water facial, I refilled the bowl every five minutes with fresh ice cubes so that the water stayed chilly.
My skin wasn't happy at firstAfter doing this for two days, I almost stopped.
I didn't see any drastic changes to my skin but I did notice my face got red for the hour or so afterward each night — which made me wonder if this treatment was more damaging than beneficial.
But I decided to continue on and by day four I started to see some positive changes in my skin.
After a few days, my skin felt pretty good
After doing this for four days straight, I woke up on day five, looked at my skin in the mirror, and noticed that some of my pimples had become smaller and my pores and wrinkles were looking minimized. My skin also felt smoother.
Many things could have contributed to my skin looking and feeling better (hormones, diet, etc.), but I was excited about how my face looked for the first time in months.
If I try this again in the future, I'll probably add ingredients to the waterI wanted to be consistent throughout this one-week experiment so I just kept the process to ice and cold water. But Green also said she recommends adding different oils or ingredients into the water for additional benefits.
She explained that rose-hip oil contains vitamins E, A, and C as well as omega and linolenic acids, which can help rebuild collagen. Aloe vera is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and B12, which can strengthen and protect the skin from UV damage. And whole milk's lactic acid can act as an anti-aging agent.Fighting off built-up UV damage from my years of tanning and preventing anymore premature aging are some of my main skin-care goals, so in the future, I'd probably add aloe vera to the ice water.
I don't think I'll stick with these daily facials, though
Although I eventually got used to sticking my face into a freezing-cold bowl of water (it didn't feel as cold by day three and by day seven it felt quite nice) it just wasn't something that brought about extreme changes to my skin, so it didn't feel worthwhile to do every day. Green agreed that this treatment works best when it's done in moderation.
I do plan on doing this again every once in a while — perhaps before an important occasion or when I notice my skin is feeling extra irritated, but it certainly isn't going to become a part of my daily routine.
I'm glad that I gave this a try but I'm even happier that I don't have to dunk my face into ice water again tonight.Read More:
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